The creators of virtual world Second Life have improved support for business users of the service.
They have launched a voice and instant messaging client that enables Second Life residents to connect and communicate with their Second Life contacts who are both inside and outside their virtual world.
Creator Linden Lab said the SLim thin client, provided by Vivox, enables residents to conduct voice or text conversations with members of their Second Life friends list.
Linden said SLim is also a useful tool for the Second Life enterprise offering, which will enable employees to communicate and collaborate with colleagues meeting inworld without having the Second Life application running.
"With Second Life becoming integrated into more aspects of our residents' daily lives, we saw a need to expand the world beyond its borders, enabling constant connection regardless of location," said Joe Miller, vice-president of platform and technology development at Linden Lab.
"In addition to all the enhanced communication benefits, SLim also helps solidify the value proposition of Second Life for enterprise use by providing a powerful voice over IP (VoIP) and instant messaging client."
Whilst the Second Life viewer will still serve as the primary inworld communication engine, SLim is capable of running on any computer and offers users a voice-enabled instant messaging client that extends the value of the Second Life platform beyond the virtual world, said Linden.
SLim provides Residents with access to their Second Life Friends list with real-time "presence" status updates, enables users to seamlessly migrate a text conversation into a voice call, and it allows users to leave voicemails for offline friends.